24 Hour Quorum

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The 24 Hour Quorum was a charity event organised by the Grand Unified Micronational which ran between 20:48 BST (UTC+1) on 14 August 2012 to the same time the following day.

Overview

Background

The idea for the 24 Hour Quorum originated from the time Will Sörgel was Acting Chairperson of the GUM (April - June 2012). As Acting Chairman and not an elected Chair, he would close each Quorum session after a motion to do so was approved instead of the usual practice of the Chair unilaterally adjourning the session. Tom Turner and some others joked that a Quorum session could theoretically be indefinitely extended simply by having each motion to adjourn it fail. The issue of how long a Quorum session could be held for was brought up, and an idea to attempt to maintain a voting Quorum (five delegations present) for as long as possible met with general approval.

It was suggested that a Quorum session be held for 24 hours, starting at 20:48 on 14 August (exactly one year since the GUM was brought back to activity in 2011), with a rota in place so that five delegations (the number required for voting to take place in an ordinary GUM Quorum session) would be online at all times. Delegates could appoint people from other time zones as temporary delegates to make it easier for their delegation to be present (an idea inspired by Ciprian I of Juclandia appointing James Stewart a temporary Juclandian delegate so that the physical Quorum held in London the day after the 2012 Polination Conference could go ahead). A suggestion to have those partaking sponsored so that money could be raised for charity was also accepted, and the 24 Hour Quorum began to be planned as a charity event. It was also decided to allow observer states access to the Quorum, to change the requirement for five delegations online at all times to five delegates, and to emphasise the community-wide aspect of the event rather than focusing on the GUM's organisation of it, all to maximise the amount of people who would be able to take part and so make it easier for the goal to be reached.

Quorum

Between 20:25 and 20:41, every GUM delegate (from full and provisional members and from all oberving states) and several persons not involved with the GUM who had agreed to partake in the Quorum as temporary delegates were added to a Skype chatroom which was named "24 Hour Quorum". Crown Prince Jonathan of Austenasia, the presiding Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational, went over some rules - no discussing of sexual topics, no arguing over religion, and no spam - and encouraged everyone to be polite to one another while clarifying that the normal rules on formal conversation in GUM Quorums (e.g. no emoticons) would not apply. The Crown Prince then opened the Quorum session at 20:48.

Conversation started off well, with a small dip in activity in the early morning and again in the late morning. At no point did the number of speakers drop below five, however, with regular head-counts being conducted. The rules were kept to (although several religious topics did get rather close to arguments), and by the mid-afternoon there was no question of the number of participants dropping below five. The Crown Prince closed the Quorum session at 20:48 on the 15th, thanking everyone for taking part. The Skype room itself remained in use until later the following day.

Donations

Some participants had people sponsor them for taking part, with the money given on the condition that the event was successful, and others used the event as an opportunity to donate sums of money themselves. In total, £80.95 (US $128) was raised for various charities, with this amount being officially announced during the 26 August regular GUM Quorum session later that month.

The recipients of donations were:

Participants

(In order of speaking):