I disagree with the assessment that the Shi'ites will win and the Kurds and Sunnis will lose.
The press seems to be confusing demographic groups with political parties. It is far more likely that the nation will end up developing multiparty systems split along something other than ethic and religious lines.
The first elections will probably involve the issues of which regions dominate more than subsequent elections.
In the long run, however, most politics is local. In a healthy system, people in a community will be split over local issues. The Shi'ite majority will be split over issues that immediately affect their towns and villages. The parties that prevail in Shi'ite land will be those that are adept at bridging the gap between the Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish regions.
"Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [...] declared war on the election, vowing to kill any "infidel" who voted."
My heart goes out to those who braved their piers and voted. I welcome all of the Iraqis who voted to the international brotherhood of infidels. Us infidels are good company.
Anyway, I've been spending the day making horrible puns about Iraq and Iran, and spouting my belief that most people will get with the new Democratic ideals Sunni or later.
(Well, okay, maybe not all infidels are good company...some spend their day sitting around making bad puns.)