OTTAWA — A tweet featuring a doctored photograph of bare-armed Conservative Leader Stephen Harper sporting a Crocodile Dundee-type outfit grabbed social media attention Friday.
The tweet by Stephen Lautens, a lawyer and self-described "smartass," carried the line: "Harper's new Australian campaign manager Lynton Crosby suggests a makeover."
It was among the most widely distributed tweets on Canadian politics.
One user was prompted to tweet a reference to a famous line in the "Crocodile Dundee" movie: "That's not a policy... now *that's* a policy."
Another post wondered whether Crosby's hiring violated the Canada Elections Act that bars foreigners from trying to influence the vote. The commissioner of Canada elections confirmed Friday that it does not.
Others took aim at Crosby for what they called his "racist" anti-Muslim rant when he worked for London Mayor Boris Johnson several years ago.
The NDP was also forced to defend one of its candidates, after a now-deleted Instagram photograph from five years ago surfaced showing her and her husband posing for a photo alongside a man brandishing what looks like a handgun.
New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair said he hadn't seen the photograph of Katherine Swampy, the NDP candidate for Battle River-Crowfoot, and couldn't comment.
However, in a statement to CTV, the NDP said the gun was "clearly" a toy.
Swampy herself did not apologize for the photo, but she did apologize for "a past heated exchange" on her Facebook page in which she used profanity.
"I apologize for this language and to anyone who may have been offended," she said.
Ill-advised social media posts have forced several candidates out of the election, including at least two Conservatives and a Liberal.
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