It is obvious to anyone, I think, how the political events in Bahrain are developing. Neither will the opposition or the government back down from its stance. The situation has become too involved, and there have been two many incidents of conflict (the constitutional conference, the petition) for either side to back down. It has now become an issue of pride, power, and saving face. Whichever side who gives in to the other will be seen as being humiliated, and having lost the battle. That's why the policy of each side now seems to be stand firm, and make the other blink first. If the government gives in, it will be seen as having humiliatingly lost, and the opposition being vindicated. If the opposition backs down, their stance of boycotting all along will be seen as a failure, and their supporters will desert them. Thus, each side has adopted the tactic of stepping up a gear, and seeing how the other side reacts.
Each side has instruments it can galvanize. The government obviously has all the institutions of the country to utilize, including enacting laws and the state media. The opposition counts on the huge masses of dissatified and unemployed people who have little to lose by risking facing up to the government.
Either way, this situation can only lead to more and more ocnflict. To prevent it from snowballing into catastrophe, a middle man is needed. Someone who is seen as close to the government but also able to talk to the opposition, or vice versa. It seems obvious that, left on their own, the two sides will find it really difficult to reach a compromise. What is needed is a third party that somehow can present a solution that would save the blushes of both sides, and enable each to claim a (partial) victory.
This could be certain groups in parliament, such as al menbar, which have close links to the opposition and the government. They could put forwards a solution that makes the government say all was worked through the parliament, while at the same time the opposition can claim that their demands were enacted. On the other hand, the king can step in. So far the king has remained somewhat outside of this conflict, as lesser ranking officials in the government are the ones who usually speak. He might be able to come out and say that in the interest of the nation he has decided to enact certain changes (since he and parliament can do that). That would present him as a peacemaker, someone who ended the conflict, while also at the same time vindicate the opposition's decision to press directly to petition the king. The most promising move, however, is that taken by Al Wasat newspaper of conducting meetings between the members of political societies, boycotting and participating, as well as business personnels. Let us all hope that leads to a positive result.