THE lead-up to the federal election will feature a "rallying of the base Labor vote", Foreign Minister Bob Carr said during a visit to Albion Park last Friday.
He visited St Joseph's Catholic High School to address year 11 and 12 students on foreign policy and international aid.
Although his speech was delayed due to a blackout at the school, the former NSW Premier told students of the importance of Australia being a "good global citizen".
He also fielded questions from students on topics ranging from asylum seekers, the United Nations Security Council and Julian Assange.
Senator Carr said Labor did not intend to send Australian troops into Syria if France's push for force was realised, in the event the use of chemical weapons was confirmed.
"We give humanitarian aid to refugees outside Syria, we want a political solution, that is a peaceful political transition inside the country accompanied, of course, by a ceasefire," he said.
"We'll be encouraging [Russia and China] to have a good, hard look at the evidence that emerges from the investigation."
During a recent visit to the electorate, former Prime Minister John Howard said he didn't detect any passion for the Labor Party.
Mr Howard also dubbed the seat of Throsby a potential "bolter" for the Liberal Party at the September 7 poll.
Throsby, traditionally a Labor stronghold, is held by Stephen Jones on a margin of 12.1 per cent.
"You've got people who vote Labor sticking to the party," Mr Carr said.
"I think it's inspiring, given the way the media message against us is manipulated.
"But I think they see Labor standing for jobs, and opposing Tony Abbott's cuts. I think you'll see a rallying of the base Labor vote in the next two weeks.
"The people who voted Labor do not want to hand this country over to Tony Abbott.
"They know that he stands for cuts; they know that his sums don't add up.
"I believe basically that elections are about choices, and I believe we win the choice on merit."
Mr Carr responded to criticisms that Mr Jones didn't focus enough on local issues.
"He focuses very hard on the big local issue, which is jobs, and investment produces jobs, and having the training and education to feed into the jobs promotion in this region," Mr Carr said.
Mr Carr didn't believe that for the "average" voter in Throsby, foreign policy was an issue that would be in the forefront of their minds as they headed to the polls.
"It tends not to be front of mind, but that doesn't mean you don't talk about it," he said.
"It's an honour for a Foreign Minister to turn up at a school, and have students want to ask questions about world affairs," he said.
■ More election coverage on page 11.