The dirty tricks employed in the Wentworth by-election campaign have sunk even lower after voters were sent a fake email that linked candidate Dave Sharma to the Liberal Party.
“This is a crude effort to discredit me, definitely the work of Russian hackers,” claimed Sharma after several thousand voters received the message in their inbox. “Someone has photoshopped me into a picture next to Scott Morrison and we’ll be taking legal action against the perpetrator if we can locate them.
“They’ve even gone as far as hiring a John Howard lookalike to stalk me. It’s been very frightening.”
“I’m prepared to fight hard but I’d never stoop so low as to accuse someone of being a Liberal”, said independent frontrunner Dr Kerryn Phelps. “Still all Dave needs to do is show us his application form just to clear up any doubts.”
Mr Sharma claims that a printing error on the voting ballot may give voters the wrong impression that he is a potential member of the Coalition.
“It seems the AEC have left a letter out. I registered as a member of the Liberial Party, campaigning on the policy that our political system should be more like the west African republic of Liberia,” said Mr Sharma. “It’s too late to pulp all the ballot papers now so I guess I’m stuck with Liberal Party after my name.”
The Liberial Party website, however, claims the party disbanded several months ago, having achieved its goal of promoting leadership coups in Canberra every couple of years.