There have been growing similarities between broadcasting issues in Canada and Europe. Some issues, including the emergence of private broadcasting and concerns about American broadcasting, became prominent in Europe decades after they were evident in Canada. In both contexts, historical and contemporary debates about broadcasting issues have been tied to three discourses on communication technologies. This article contends that broadcasting policy debates in Canada and Europe can usefully be interpreted through a theoretical model that addresses technological determinism, technological democracy and technological nationalism. The model places the discourses in the context of struggles between dominant agents (private companies, governments or supranational institutions) and subordinate agents (including various social movements). The model shows how connections between the discourses help to secure the hegemony of powerful groups. However, the model also identifies contradictions within the discourses and compromises involving the discourses. Both are associated with opposition from less powerful groups.