Again, it depends on what "What" is. Not to sound like Bill Clinton, or anything. :-D
I expect the gov't to build roads for me. I expect the gov't to collect my taxes. I expect the gov't to have some measure of police and military protection. I expect it to govern things I cannot--like airports, highway systems, city planning, etc. I expect the gov't to govern in a way that a hard-working person can make a living--taxes, etc. I expect them to regulate when necessary so that my life is livable--so that I can afford to live, can afford basic health insurance, can afford to save for retirement, have decent roads to drive on.
I do not expect the gov't to feed me, clothe me, house me.
So, I don't know what is so simple about defining liberal versus conservative.
May I also add that there are SO many viewpoints on which to be liberal versus conservative, but people tend to narrow it down to 2-3. How about religion, race, taxation, environment, sexual orientation, birth control, abortion, tax law and taxation, SS, healthcare, welfare, education, natural resources, infrastructure, international relationships, trade treaties, drug use, alcohol and tobacco production/use/taxation, the auto industry, banking, stock market, farming and food access/laws/prices....