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Template:Infobox MSP Patrick Harvie (born 18 March 1973 in Vale of Leven, Dunbartonshire) is a Scottish Green Party politician and Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Glasgow region. He was first elected in the 2003 election and was re-elected in the 2007 election.
Professional career Edit
Harvie attended Manchester Metropolitan University where he was briefly a member of the Labour party. From 1997 till his election in 2003, Harvie worked within the Gay Men's Project at the sexual health organisation PHACE Scotland (previously PHACE West) initially as a youth worker and later as Development Worker for the Lanarkshire Health Board area. Although this work was principally concerned with HIV prevention, it also involved Harvie in equality campaigning. During this period, he was active in the campaign to repeal Section 2A of the Local Government Act, more commonly known as Section 28. This campaign was successful, and Harvie has stated that the experience prompted him to become more actively involved in politics, leading to his joining the Scottish Green Party.
Parliamentary work Edit
Harvie has gained attention both for issues strongly associated with the Greens, such as campaigning against the extension to the M74 motorway in Glasgow, and for more 'mainstream' issues such as opposition to the Identity Cards Bill. Quickly after becoming an MSP he caused some controversy by proposing civil partnership legislation in the Scottish Parliament. Though this legislation was ultimately handled at Westminster and covered the whole UK, the distinctive Scottish proposals helped to stimulate some public debate north of the border, both on the issue of same-sex relationships and on the process known as a Legislative Consent Motion by which the Scottish Parliament allows Westminster to legislate for the whole UK.
Harvie was a member of the Communities Committee of the Scottish Parliament throughout the 2003-7 session, and through this committee he worked on the Antisocial Behaviour Bill, the Charities Bill and the Housing Bill, as well as on issues of homelessness, debt, the planning system and building standards.
In addition to the Communities portfolio, Harvie covered the Justice portfolio for the Greens, and has been active on a number of civil liberties issues. He has also been convener of the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Human Rights, and helped to establish a CPG on Sexual Health.
Following the Green Party's disappointing performance in the 2007 election, Harvie was returned with a reduced share of the vote. However the tight parliamentary arithmetic and a constructive relationship with the Scottish National Party led to a Co-operation Agreement between the two parties. Under this, Harvie was nominated to convene the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee.
In 2004 Harvie was given the 'One to Watch' award at the annual Scottish Politician of the Year event.
Harvie is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society, Honorary Vice-President of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association and a patron of Parents' Enquiry Scotland. He is a board member of the Glasgay! Festival, and a member of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Equality Network, Stonewall (UK), Amnesty International, Humanist Society of Scotland and the Campaign Against the Arms Trade. Harvie writes a weekly column in the Scottish edition of the Big Issue.