This chapter introduces liberal democracies as complex societies that contain elements of both liberal and democratic ideas and values. The conceptualisations and categorisations of these elements and the ways in which they combine are overlapping, making a clear distinction between them impossible. However, a distinctive feature of liberal democracies is that their liberal and democratic elements interact in ways that are a salient and potentially positive feature of Australian politics. In the contemporary era, because liberal democracy has become synonymous with economic liberalism and promotion of the free market, it is important to consider how other liberal and democratic values and ideas may be enhanced, developed and preserved.