Head of State

Carl Bildt is Foreign Minister of Sweden. In the 1990s he was Prime Minister of Sweden. Today, he has an op-ed on internet freedom that opens with an anecdote:

A decade and a half ago, when I was prime minister of Sweden, then-President Bill Clinton and I had the first e-mail exchange between heads of state. Already our two nations were at the forefront of the technological revolution about to transform our world.

I don’t necessarily expect Americans to grasp the distinction, since our President is both head of state and head of government, but Sweden’s prime minister is not a head of state. The King of Sweden is the head of state and when he dies Crown Princess Victoria will take over.

As for his take on Internet freedom, I’m all for Internet freedom. But what does something like “We should now forge a new transatlantic partnership for protecting and promoting the freedoms of cyberspace” really amount to? I wish I could say that this nitpicking distracts from Bildt’s real point, but I’m not sure what his real point is.