A political crisis is looming over the final passage of the national security bills into law. There are no signs of the government backing down on its legislative plan before next Wednesday. Yesterday, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa held crisis meetings with leaders of major political factions and his senior ministers to assess the political fallout of Tuesday's historic protest. A long list of government fiascos prompted people to take to the streets, but the most contentious and immediate issue is clearly the process of, approach to and provisions of the security law. With calls growing for people to demonstrate outside the Legislative Council chamber when the final debate resumes, time is running out for the government and legislators. Cynics may argue Legco has already been marginalised in the political process. The crisis over Article 23 has arguably provided a golden opportunity for it to reassert its constitutional role in lawmaking and political role in mediating social conflicts. Legislators are obliged to ensure any law is passed with the most dignified and prudent manner through thorough and democratic debate. Any responsible government and legislature simply cannot afford to ignore the voices of half a million people. Most of those people have, for various reasons, given a vote of no-confidence in the government's pledge that the anti-subversion law will not curtail political and civil freedoms. Pressure has been mounting on the Legco representatives of at least some constituencies representing professionals, who were among the marchers on Tuesday. Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun has cautioned against the government wrongly assessing public opinion over Article 23. Leader of Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, Tsang Yok-sing, insisted many people were 'being misled' and their fears were unfounded. An apparent rethink in the wake of the rally among some non-affiliated legislators who hold crucial votes could further complicate the political tussle over the legislation. Faced with a severe political crisis, the Tung leadership has to carefully re-evaluate public opinion and the views of lawmakers, and adopt a strategy to defuse the crisis. If nothing is done, sharp confrontation outside Legco on Wednesday looks inevitable. It is likely to be followed by another rally with an even bigger turnout and a stronger demand for Mr Tung to go. Should that happen, the administration and its supporters in the Legislative Council will emerge bruised from a bitter battle that nobody can win.