Abhisit's key goal is ousting Thaksin from politics
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has charted a clear and unyielding course to root out his nemesis Thaksin Shinawatra from the political landscape or at least die trying.
The Abhisit-Thaksin fight is an epic one dating back to 2001 and is likely to remain inconclusive in the foreseeable future.
Even though the Thaksin camp has won every general election over the past decade, the Democrats continue to remain a thorn in his side.
If the Thaksin camp has been using democracy as a shield to keep its opponents at bay, then the Democrats have the antidote - portraying supporters of populism as opportunists bent on plundering the national coffers.
Over the past few years, the main opposition party has been raising awareness under a "word-of-mouth" campaign in order to expose the flaws of Thaksin's legacy.
This campaign carries two key messages:
l Thaksin and the red shirts were behind the "burning down of Bangkok" or that they condoned political violence in order to have their way;
l That populism is an evil trick being used to sedate the people and pave the way for amassing ill-gotten gains.
Although the red shirts continue belching out fiery rebuttals and Thaksin and coalition politicians play down these messages as cheap rhetoric, the word-of-mouth campaign is actually gaining traction.
The Democrat victory in the capital should serve as a wake-up call for the ruling party and its patron Thaksin.
On Saturday, the Democrats had reason to celebrate because for the first time in recent history, Abhisit was able to lead a rally in Khon Kaen - which is seen as the backyard of the reds and Pheu Thai.
In the previous two general elections, the Democrats were not able to access several provinces in the Northeast.
The turnout at the Saturday rally was impressive, signalling that the main opposition party might be able to make a comeback in the region.
On the following day, Abhisit held a meeting with his fan club in Bangkok, where he confirmed his plans to reach out Isaan voters.
In Thaksin's point of view, as well as that of several political pundits, Abhisit does not have the strength at this juncture to wrest power from the ruling party.
Abhisit, however, is under no illusion that he can outpace Thaksin in terms of popularity. He just wants to be a pest blocking Thaksin at every turn. After all, for him and his fellow Democrats, the issue is not about grabbing power but removing Thaksin and his legacy from the political equation.
Abhisit's belief is that the future of democratic rule hinges on how well society can withstand Thaksin's bullying tactics. He believes that once Thaksin is out of the picture, then the playing field will be levelled and the country can move forward regardless of which party is in power.
Abhisit sees "reconciliation" as a code word invoked by the Thaksin camp to under?mine the rule of law via the legislative majority and is calling on Thai citizens to unite against any attempts to whitewash political violence, which if allowed, could lead to more turmoil.
Of course, Thaksin has a different take on the situation. He sees Abhisit as a petulant child who refuses to play fair. The Democrats are faulting him, but are unable to come up with a viable alternative for voters.
However, political polarisation will not dissipate until either Abhisit or Thaksin can devise a game change in order to end the contest of their willpower.