: Here are some quotes from Iraqi bloggers as they anticipate the vote. They all should be an inspiration — and perhaps a shame — to those of us who have become blase about democracy and freedom, who growl over our choices and don’t even bother showing up at the polls. Democracy is fragile and precious; we forget that. These people don’t:

: Ali of of Free Iraq (formerly of IraqTheModel) talks about his cynicism about politics and parties and his nation. But then he says:

Still and with all this skepticism, I’m going to vote and I don’t care if it means risking my life and I don’t even care that much how the end results are going to be, not now! …

Now, and thanks to other humans, not from my area, religion and who don’t even speak my language, I and all Iraqis have the real chance to make the change. Now I OWN my home and I can decide who’s going to run things in it and how and I won’t waste that chance. Tomorrow as I cast my vote, I’ll regain my home. I’ll regain my humanity and my dignity, as I stand and fulfill part of my responsibilities to this part of the large brotherhood of humanity. Tomorrow I’ll say I’M IRAQI AND I’M PROUD, as being Iraqi this time bears a different meaning in my mind. It’s being an active and good part of humanity. Tomorrow I and the Iraqis that are going to vote will rule, not the politicians we’re going to vote for, as it’s our decision and they’ll work for us this time and if we don’t like them we’ll kick them out! Tomorrow my heart will race my hand to the box. Tomorrow I’ll race even the sun to the voting centre, my Ka’aba and my Mecca. I’m so excited and so happy that I can’t even feel the fear I though I would have at this time. I can’t wait until tomorrow.

: Ali’s brother, Mohammed, writes at Iraq The Model:

It’s a moment of pure freedom but still surrounded by lots of dangers just like any beautiful rose surrounded by spikes.

There is fear from the enemies of freedom who have their weapons already prepared to intimidate us and stop us from choosing our future….

We’re standing before a historic moment and I won’t be exaggerating if I said that it’s an important moment for the whole world; we’re standing before a crossroads and everyone should watch and learn from the rebirth of Iraq.

Regardless of the winners in the se elections, those who opposed the elections and resisted the change will have to deal with the new reality.

In 48 hours from now, the dying dictatorships and their filthy tools, the terrorists, will find themselves facing an elected legitimate government in Iraq.

The neurotic Iraqi wife gives us a picture of the blue ink they put on voters’ fingers at polling places and calls it the mark of my freedom.

And then she paints this great scene from the city where she voted (not sure where that is):

Crowds and crowds of people started walking in at 730am on a Friday morning. It was simply beautiful. Families singing and clapping as they made their way through. I cant describe the feelings of jubilation. There were chocolates and sweets being distributed and one family brought in huge pots of rice and mutton and gave it to everyone in the center. Umm, No Thank You…

: Fayrouz, an Iraqi expat in Dallas, watches her countrymen in Australia as they were the first to vote and she writes:

There are times when I don’t know what to say. This moment is one of those times. Sorry, I’m so happy and don’t want to ruin the moment by saying any silly words.

: Many, like Ahmed, are still deciding whether to vote:

Personally, I very much do want to vote, but up to this moment I have not decided whether I actually will. I think I