Earlier this year I travelled to Switzerland for a meeting of the FIDE Rules and Tournament Regulations Commission. One of the things we worked on was the rewording of the rule that deals with the default time, the so called "zero tolerance" rule. Given the supposed unpopularity of this rule, I suggested a wording that took out all mention of 0 time, and instead made it a requirement of the organisers to specify a time in advance.
It was presented at todays FIDE Rules and Tournament Regulations meeting, which is part of the 2012 FIDE Congress. Of course these meetings are open to the public, and the room was overflowing. As part of the process, it is also the case that anyone present in this meeting can vote on these proposals. So towards the end of the session the new wording was presented alongside the existing rule. This was a similar process to 4 years ago, when the rule was first introduced. And just like four years ago, it was the *public* attendees at the meeting who voted to retain the existing rule. And it was not just a close vote (as far as I can see), but one with a substantial majority.
So once again there will be a round of criticism directed at Rules and Tournament Regulations over this matter, and in a sense it is valid. Not because we support this rule (that honour goes to the people who turned up to the meeting), but because we failed to 'sell' the new rule better.
So for at least four years (and probably longer) the zero tolerance rule remains in effect, unless you *choose* to play in tournaments where the organisers do set a different default time. Just throwing that out there.