Labor candidates hit out yesterday at the Liberal Party's "lazy" and "cynical" use of automated cold calls but their State party director would not rule out using the technology.
Mindarie MP John Quigley, Maylands MP Lisa Baker and Labor's candidate for Belmont, Cassie Rowe, told _The West Australian _they had received complaints from electors who had been targeted by the so-called robocalls.
Mr Quigley, who is contesting the renamed safe Labor seat of Butler, said the calls treated voters "in a very cynical way" and claimed Liberal voters had told him it was the first time they had heard from Liberal candidate Linda Aitken.
He said he had been told the calls, believed to be carried out by Queensland firm ReachTEL across most electorates, were surveying voting intent and asking electors to identify candidates.
"It's very lazy," Mr Quigley said. "No one's got a chance to raise any issues."
The technology, first used by former prime minister John Howard during the 2004 Federal election, has since been used by both sides of politics and evolved into a research tool to poll voters, most recently in the Queensland and NSW elections.
Ms Baker, also in a safe Labor seat and facing Liberal candidate and City of Bayswater councillor Sylvan Albert, said it was an impersonal way of reaching voters.
Ms Rowe, who is up against Liberal candidate and City of Belmont councillor Glenys Godfrey in the safe Labor seat being vacated by Eric Ripper, said one 85-year-old woman found such calls intrusive.
"She tried to hang up on four occasions because she needed to make another call and the message was still going," Ms Rowe said.
Labor State secretary Simon Mead said the party had no plans to use automated calls.
"We haven't finalised our plans for the campaign, but we do think the best way of persuading people is to talk to them one on one," he said.
"We don't have any current plans to use it."Liberal Party State secretary Ben Morton declined to comment.
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